A November ruling by the New Jersey Supreme Court has cast doubt in over 20,000 drunk driving convictions. The unanimous ruling is that all guilty judgment verdicts relying on breathalyzer tests as evidence are inadmissible. A Supreme Court Justice wrote in the final decision that alleged human failings have cast doubt on the calibration process. The ruling affects convictions over the course of seven years in five counties in the northern part of the state, including Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Ocean County, Somerset County, and Union County.
How This Ruling Came About
Two years ago, a New Jersey State Police Sgt. was charged with failing to properly calibrate the Alcotest machines in the five counties. Specifically, he failed to properly calibrate the machines’ temperature readings. This led to all Alcotest results during that period being declared invalid. He was indicted for this catastrophic error in December 2016. Currently, he is facing criminal charges in Monmouth County.
The ruling has created a confusing legal situation. Those convicted are supposed to receive a notice in the mail advising them of their rights. Many doubt this will happen. Driving while intoxicated (DWI) cases are not resolved overnight. This means there are perhaps thousands of DWI cases in progress that are based entirely on Alcotest results. The ruling does not automatically make past drunk driving convictions disappear. They remain on people’s records. Wrongly convicted individuals must challenge the convictions themselves.
Challenging a DWI Conviction
A DWI conviction in the state of New Jersey can be crippling, on many levels. The following can occur with a DWI conviction:
- Loss of driving privileges
- Paying heavy fines
- Car insurance costs can rise to $1,000 for three years
- Enduring ignition interlock for up to a year
- Alcohol/drug assessments
- Legal fees and other assorted fees
Being involved in a drunk driving accident is catastrophic and should not be taken lightly. An experienced car accident lawyer can help you address your claim and help you seek the justice you deserve considering this controversy.
Cherry Hill Car Accident Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Advocate for Victims of Drunk Driving Accidents
If you or a loved one has been injured in a drunk driving accident, our Cherry Hill car accident lawyers at DiTomaso Law can help you obtain the justice you deserve. We will hold the negligent party accountable for your injuries so that you can focus on your recovery. Call us today at 856-414-0010 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Center City Philadelphia and Cherry Hill New Jersey, we proudly serve clients from the surrounding areas, including South Jersey, Cherry Hill, Mt. Holly, Camden County, New Jersey, and southeastern Pennsylvania.